Although some may consider the use of ivory as a thing of the past, the illegal trade of the item still rages on in many parts of the globe.
As a result of the increasing numbers of African elephants being killed over their ivory tusks, Chinese officials have followed the actions of many other countries by holding a public event where nearly six tons of the illegal product was crushed.
The event, held last Monday in the city of Dongguan, was the focus of attention by many wildlife conservationists as public officials crushed the ivory products, most of which had been seized by Hong Kong’s customs.
Due to the fact that owning such a thing in China is viewed as a status symbol most favorable by the wealthy, the country has been at the forefront of the black-market ivory trade. Additionally, the economic growth of China’s middle class has recently led to a devastatingly large surge of African elephant deaths due to the increased demand of the tusks. Subsequently, the African Elephant Action Plan was enacted in order to protect and conserve the diminishing species. What makes the African elephant so much of a target is the fact that both males and females have tusks. Tusks can only be found on the male Asian elephant species and even then, only certain males are able to grow tusks.
Even though many view this as a great step towards the preservation of the species, critics are concerned with the fact that only a small percentage of China’s ivory stockpile has been crushed. In order to thoroughly end the illegal trading of ivory, many are calling on Chinese officials to take a greater stand and do away with every bit of ivory which has been confiscated through customs.